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Media Release

New CEO appointed

Publication date: 16 February 2022

AFTER AN extensive and thorough recruitment process, Hort Innovation is pleased to announce the appointment of Brett Fifield as the new Chief Executive Officer, following Matt Brand’s resignation.

Mr Fifield will join Hort Innovation on April 26 from his current role as the Deputy Director General, Infrastructure, Investment and Business Development, and member of the Executive Leadership Team, at the NSW Department of Primary Industries in Orange.

Hort Innovation Chair, Julie Bird, said the Board is delighted to have a candidate of Mr Fifield’s calibre and diverse experience as the new CEO.

“With a strong pool of qualified candidates and a competitive recruitment process, the Board is confident that Brett is the perfect choice to take Hort Innovation to the next phase of strategic development, and enhanced culture and stakeholder experience,” she said.

"Brett’s leadership, and broad industry expertise across R&D, stakeholder engagement and innovation will be an asset to lead Hort Innovation toward the government's Ag2030 vision of growing agriculture to $100bn in value.”

Having grown up on a mixed farm near Wagga Wagga and following an early career as a journalist, Mr Fifield has more than 20 years’ experience in agriculture including 10 years in senior executive roles working across agriculture, biosecurity, food safety, fisheries, policy and cabinet, business performance, communications and engagement.

His specific experience and expertise in stakeholder engagement and communications with industry across diverse topics – including infrastructure, industry development, research and development, adoption and extension, regulatory affairs and industry assistance – makes him ideally positioned to lead Hort Innovation into the future.

Mr Fifield said he was thrilled to be joining the Hort Innovation team and looked forward to working closely with, and supporting, the horticulture industry - one of Australia’s oldest, most diverse and fastest growing ag sectors.

“Horticulture's great diversity comes with great opportunity; and it will be a privilege to work across the breadth of Australian horticulture,” he said.

“In this rapidly changing world, Hort Innovation’s role is more important than ever and so is its commitment to innovation and collaboration."

“We have a firm responsibility to deliver real impact for growers and those across the supply chain. And, as a major RDC, our work in partnership with industry will be pivotal to Australian horticulture’s success.”

The Board once again extended its thanks to current CEO Matt Brand for remaining in the role through this transition period.


Hort Innovation is a not-for-profit, grower-owned company that delivers more than $120 million in research, development and marketing activities on behalf of Australian horticulture each year.

Media contact: Kelly Vorst-Parkes or 0427 142 537

Kelly Vorst-Parkes
Media and Public Affairs Manager
Contact details
0427 142 537 Send an email
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